I genuinely am feeling like a different person behind the controls of that plane at the moment.
Bob texted me with the option of heading down to do some late afternoon circuits. He was going to be down there with a night student and wanted to know if I fancied some flying.
Never one to turn down the opportunity to fly, I readily agreed. To be honest, although I’m happily anticipating my next cross country flight, I’d mentioned to RTH that I was a little unhappy with how my landings were playing out at the moment. I felt the need for some practice.
I wandered down to the school, found my plane on the ground and waiting. I organised my gear, waited on the refuelers and preflighted her before Bob arrived.
Bob strolled in and he started to chat about the flight, he mentioned that he’d noticed my landings getting a little on the bouncy side and wanted to sort them out before they became an issue. I couldn't argue with that. “Apart from that, what’s your plan?” He asked “Want to thrash out some solo circuits?”
I’d thought about this, I’m not scared of the solo flying anymore, so there’s not the pressing need to overcome that psychological barrier. I don’t really even need any more solo time for my license, apart from the cross country stuff. So I made an executive decision.
“To be honest, I need to practice my landings, as well as all the speciality takeoffs and landings and stuff. I’m not afraid of solo flying anymore, what I need is the feedback on my technique. At this point I’m better off with you in the plane to critique.”
I felt happy with that decision. Every flight is for a purpose now. Every flight is getting me one step closer to my License.
The flight went well. The weather was slightly cruddy. Fine for circuits, no use for anything else. The airport eerily quiet.
The lack of traffic allowed for stop and goes. We thrashed out short field, soft field and obstacle takeoffs and landings. Each time we went round Bob laid out the specifications for the next series.
One time the runway ended at Foxtrot. The next, someone had strung power lines above the threshold.
The calm winds made judging my approach a challenge but I got there. I was being challenged, but I was having fun. I got out of that plane feeling like I’d been tested and had passed.
It was a worthwhile flight, I felt refreshed and renewed. For a change I wasn’t a sweaty heap of mess when I got out the plane. I just felt satisfied with a job well done.